Friday, October 19, 2012

Feeding kids--a word of caution

Tamara Duker Freuman, a registered dietitian, recently blogged on US News about whether you should take your pediatrician’s feeding advice as gospel.

Pediatricians, she pointed out, have no more nutritional training than other doctors. In other words, maybe a day’s worth.

Some doctors recommend putting a breast-fed baby on a schedule—the problem is, with the breast, they get less sometimes, more the next, and really need to let their hunger pangs be the guide.

Formula-fed babies may be able to get on a schedule because you can see how much they drink.

It is also popular to tell mothers to withhold possible allergy-causing foods such as eggs, dairy, fish, and nuts until a year, two years, or even three years of age. This was the stand of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008, but was retracted. Withholding these foods could actually cause an allergy when they are introduced, according to research.

You might still want to withhold liquid cow’s milk and honey (which can cause botulism).

High fiber, low-carb, and low-fat diets are OK for adults trying to manage their weight, but are not good for growing babies.

Toddlers love cereal, oats, pasta, rice and whole-grain crackers. They cannot possibly eat enough veggies to sustain them. Fat is also a building block of their little bodies.

Doctors can also sort of make things up or get on kicks—no more than two eggs a week or a refined carb cereal will set the kid on the road to obesity.

If something like that sounds fishy—do some research, ask other parents.

Or check with Tamara at

She seemed pretty smart to me.

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